We have been accused on countless occasions of lacking "bottle" when it comes to the crunch and it's hard to see any other reason for last night's debacle. For Arsene Wenger to say after the game that the players weren't mentally prepared is stunning and it brings into question the role of the new club psychologist. For me it also has to bring into question the role of the manager.
Being an Arsenal fan is just like watching Groundhog Day and the one factor that never seems to change is the manager. Players come and go and yet the same failings are passed from one team to another. I can only assume it's something in the culture of the club and that culture as it is has been set by the manager.
It's not easy for me to say, but I think the only way we can move forward is with a change in management. There are obvious hazards in going down that path and things might get worse before they get better or they might not get better at all. I don't think it's even optional at this stage though because he just does not seem to be able to cure our ills.
I can't see us mounting a title challenge now and I dread to think what will happen at Chelsea on Saturday. If we play like we did in the first half last night we will get the sort of thumping which was all too frequent away to the best sides in the league a couple of seasons ago. The centre of our midfield has been decimated with only Francis Coquelin fit from the five players who would call it their position and I still don't think he's good enough at this level. We'll probably see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain play alongside him on Saturday and I only hope they aren't overrun by Chelsea.
It's incredible how this Arsenal team can get your hopes up and then absolutely shatter them with a performance like we saw in the first 45 minutes last night. The second half may have been better, but they did so much damage in that first half that they couldn't get anything from the game. It was so alike the 3-3 draw at Bournemouth only a few weeks when we managed to get a point from the game. You don't win the league when you lose at home to teams like Watford and Arsenal aren't going to win the league this season.
I know I was foolish to get my hopes up and I thought it would be Chelsea who might dash them on Saturday. It's so like Arsenal to fall to pieces only four days before the biggest game of their season so far and maybe that played a part in what happened. Perhaps the players had their minds on that game and didn't show Watford the respect you have to show every team in the Premier League and maybe that's what cost them the game. If that's the case it's again impossible to look beyond the manager because it's his job to send them out there prepared for the game from the first minute and they quite clearly were far from that.
All roads point back to Arsene Wenger being at the root of the problem for me. I love what he has done for the club, but it must be time to move on before he completely destroys his legacy. Some would say that has happened already but I don't think so quite yet and no matter what I will still back him as long as he is in charge. I know it sounds a little strange calling for his head and saying I will back him, but what I suppose I mean is I'm not going to hurl abuse in his direction or throw my toys out of the pram if he doesn't go. I do think his time has to be up though.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.